A Jacobean house with medieval origins
Every now and then, a period house stops us in our tracks. Chilham Castle in Kent is one such house.
The 17th Century Jacobean house as it stands today actually hides a much deeper history. The original building was constructed in 709 by the King of Kent. The house’s links to medieval England can still be seen by way of a keep which still exists today.
It was lived in by various noblemen and families until it was bought by King Henry VIII in 1539. Shortly afterwards Henry VIII allowed Sir Thomas Cheney to buy it from him. While undocumented, this was possibly to return a long lost favour owed to Cheney after he allowed King Henry to court Anne Boleyn at his house on the Isle of Sheppey ten years previously.
Improvements by Capability Brown
The house as it stands now is mainly the result of work undertaken by Thomas Heron, a lawyer who undertook a significant renovation of Chilham Castle in the late 1700s. This included bringing Capability Brown on board to landscape the gardens and improve the park. Heron paid a modest £412 and 10 shillings for the work (over £500,000 in today’s money). Brown did not create a new landscape for this sum, but instead made several small improvements which collectively made a big difference to the building’s setting.
A rare opportunity
Fast forward to today, and the house has been in the hands of the Wheeler family since 2002. They have restored much of the building’s heritage, putting it back on its feet ready for the next owner to leave their mark.
Further details on the sale of Chilham Castle can be seen on the Knight Frank website.
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